Mrs Doubtfire – Like You’ve Never Seen It Before

Amazing. AMAZING.

1000 Musicians Learn to Fly

I was surprised at just how good this sounded. 1,000 musicians play Learn to Fly together and nail it.

The Perfect Puppy

I’ve been a dog owner for over a year now and I love it. It feels natural to look after the tiny, fluffy, living creature that I essentially keep captive in my house, but it wasn’t something that came easy. I was really worried – I had no previous knowledge of keeping or training a dog. Growing up, my family were more goldfish people!

As I like to do with any new project, I spent weeks researching what I’m supposed to buy, prepare, and expect. I think it’s fair to say that there is a lot of information out there, and everyone has an opinion. It was pretty overwhelming, so I ended up going back to basics and looked for a book.

After reading a ridiculous number of book reviews, I settled on the number one book for Dogs on Amazon (with 300 x 5 star reviews): The Perfect Puppy by Gwen Bailey.

It took me a couple of days to read it cover to cover, but I came out of it with so much knowledge and confidence in what was to come. The main questions I had were:

  • What should I expect on the first night?
  • What happens if he tries to go to the toilet in the middle of the living room floor?
  • When do I feed him?
  • How do I teach him what’s right and wrong?
  • When can I take him for a walk?

The book covered everything I wanted to know and more. One of my favourite sections was the suggested routine, something I was quite worried about:

The Perfect Puppy

I didn’t go for the exact routine they laid out, but just knowing what was needed (a LOT of pee breaks) really helped.

I won’t go through the book page by page, but if you have a puppy and are looking for something simple to read to get you started, this is it. It breaks down all the training into easy chunks, and answers the stupid questions you’re afraid to ask.

Among the many things I took away from this book, two things stood out for me:

  • It’s all about patience. Just keep at it and your puppy will get it eventually.
  • Never punish, only praise. Dogs don’t understand why you’re shouting, so there’s no point.

A year down the line, this still holds true.

The book is also bursting with cute puppy pictures. This was my favourite, his little face is adorable!

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Recommended!

Are you sure? Are you really sure? We have an app for that!

I can’t be the only one who gets irritated with this. You find an interesting link on your mobile, click through and are faced with this taking over your entire screen:

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Hey, I’m all for promoting apps. It’s a great thing, and sometimes I didn’t even realise you have one. But don’t push it in my face like that one aunt at the party who tries to get you to “try the quiche, you’ll love it”.

All I want to do is read your article titled “17 reasons Zac Efron’s left arm looks like Deirdrie Barlow’s throat”. I don’t think that necessitates a full app, nor I do I have the time or the attention span to download it.

Lights Out

I forgot all about this short horror film until today. It’s under three minutes long and is really well done. Give it a watch, unless (like me) you’ve just moved into an old house and have an overactive imagination… I’m never sleeping again.

Lights Out

Aah, Paul Masson!

There are few YouTube videos that I could watch again and again, but this is a true gem.

Orson Welles must have sampled the product a few times before shooting this advert for Paul Masson.

Amazing.

(Don’t) Tell Me About It

I’m a big fan of old people, they’re brilliant. They’ve survived a lot of shit, so they deserve respect. But there is something that irritates me, and it’s quite universal by the sounds of it:

Their gory detail of ailments and surgeries.

They love it! Nothing excites them more than telling you about their neighbour Isa’s knee surgery, or the helpful yet sweaty support of their orthopaedic tights.

I’ve listened to an in-depth explanation of how a relative had been constipated for two weeks, the consequent surgery and a description of “the results”, all while at the dinner table. There was beef gravy available, but my roast remained dry that day.

Without fail, I hear more detail than I want to. As a generation that doesn’t do the “Facebook inner thoughts 24/7 365 broadcast” approach, I would have thought they would be a bit more reluctant to divulge personal information.

Not when it comes to health issues, it seems.

Where does this morbid fascination come from? Is there a point in the ageing process where a switch goes off in your head and you think “Know what’s cool? Varicose Veins”!

Nature Crowdsourcing

This is a really interesting project from Nerds for Nature:

On September 8, 2013, 3,111 acres around the summit of Mt. Diablo went up in flames. While the charred landcape can appear alarming, fire is actually a natural part of the mountain’s ecology, and many plants actually require fire to reproduce. We’re trying to monitor how the landscape is changing and recovering after the fire by taking pictures from fixed locations for 1 year after the fire.

People are asked to take photos from fixed areas around the location. I think it’s a great use of crowdsourcing – I’d definitely take part if there was something that like that where I live.

Unwelcome Train Buddies

I’m currently on a train carriage that looks like this:

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We just pulled up to a station where five people got on the carriage. One of them sat right beside me.

Right. Beside. Me.

The train, from my seat, now looks like this:

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And yet someone is now on the seat next to me. She is elbowing me in the side as I type this.

Are these people creatures of habit? Is that her “regular” seat? Does she ache for the body warmth an (angry) stranger on the train will provide? Or is she just thick?

For anyone who does a daily commute, you will know what it’s like being squashed together in a big can twice a day every day. And you will know the unbridled joy when there’s a quiet train and space to move in. There’s etiquette. Simple etiquette. If everyone pays attention, we can all have the space we need.

What’s so hard about that?

People just ignore this, though. It keeps happening! Either they’re right beside you or right across from you so you both have no leg room, even when they can sit diagonally and you’ll both be happy.

Listen, general public. Personal space is a big thing, stop ignoring it. If there are a multitude of free seats, don’t fuck it up by sitting next to someone when you don’t have to.

Think of it like a urinal, nobody wants neighbours when there’s no need to.

If it was a urinal, I’d probably piss on your shoes.

That’s a Safe Lunch…

Is it just me, or do these reusable sandwich wrappers remind you of sanitary pads?

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At least you know your lunch is safe in the office fridge. If someone steals a chilled sanitary pad, chances are you’ve got a really weird colleague and should be frightened for your life.

Bonus jingle video:

WOAH BODYFORM! BODYFORMED FOR YOOOOOOOUUUUUUU!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zebXDyYuYK0

Industrial Loft Renovation

I am absolutely in love with this industrial loft style renovation of a home in Portland. The whole look is stunning. I would take every piece of furniture.

Loft Living: An Energy-Efficient Oasis in Portland, Oregon

Bullet Journal

I’m sure (*I hope) I’m not alone in my obsession with good old fashioned note-taking. My job is centered around the web and everything digital, but I can’t bring myself to convert completely.

I replaced books with a Kindle years ago (which halved my suitcase weight), but I just can’t give up notebooks. There’s something about taking physical notes that I love.

I use the Bullet Journal approach. It is essentially bullet points with a key to make it easy to see what needs attention.

The approach is based on common sense, but it’s good to see it there in black and white. I never considered adding an index, breaking notes up by month, or simply numbering pages, but it makes so much sense when you think about it.

The first time you are surprised by a question in a meeting and can flip to the answer immediately, you’ll be thankful you bothered!

Give Bullet Journal a read and get yourself organised!

Burnistoun’s Voice Recognition Elevator in Scotland

I’ll never tire of this sketch from Burnistoun. Aylayven!

Regency Love: iPhone App

I was looking for a new mobile game to try out on the iPhone 6 a few days ago, and came across Regency Love on the app store top charts.

Experience life in the British Regency as a young gentlewoman, where you must maintain proper decorum, sharpen your wits, and find a suitable husband!

Now this is something I can play! Set aside the zombies and flying poultry: give me a ball and an enquiry as to the health of my family, and I’m in game heaven!

It’s very much a ‘choose your own adventure’ style game, a welcome flashback to my childhood. Essentially, you are given a set of answers to choose from when conversing with other characters. These answers set you off on your personal path to romance and finding a ‘suitable husband’.

I’ll admit, there were points where I had butterflies, worried my chosen answer would rob me of that elusive engagement. I got very carried away as it is pretty immersive for an Austen fan like me!

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I don’t want to spoil things, because part of the experience is in discovering the game yourself. There is very little in the way of signposting or help, but as with all well designed games, you get it eventually.

The artwork is beautiful and fits the era perfectly. I even find some of the gentlemen attractive, though I don’t know if it’s testament to the artist or a horrible indictment on my grip on reality.

The only niggle I have were the limited questions that became repetitive over time, but that really is no problem when you’re playing – you just know the answers quicker!

The app is currently listed at £2.99 on the app store. Considering the amount of effort that go into creating the app, that’s a bargain.

Recommended!

The British Plug

I must admit I didn’t think I would find myself watching a video about a plug, never mind enjoy it, but there you go. I present to you a video about the design of the British Plug. It’s actually fascinating…

If that tickled your fancy, Tom Scott does a lot more

Pet Halloween Costume

This will be Basil’s first Halloween, and I need to get him a great costume. There are so many options to choose from, but after seeing this video the decision has been made. Hilarious.

I wouldn’t be able to stop laughing at him running around in this.

Realising Lyrics

Ever sang a song without realising the words you’re actually saying out loud?

I just did that with Blue’s ‘Too Close’ (I was having a 90s/00s boyband flashback day, don’t judge me):

Baby when we’re grinding
I get so excited
Ooh, how I like it
I try but I can’t fight it
Oh, your dancing real close
Plus real real slow
You’re making it hard for me

I don’t know which is worse: catching yourself singing about an accidental dancefloor erection, or the music industry for making it into a music video:

Instagram Camera

There have been whispers of an Instagram camera for a while now. Looks like Polaroid may be bringing it to life, fingers crossed! I would definitely be interested in one of these wee bad boys.

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Printing Clothes: The Future?

According to Joshua Harris and his Clothing Printer Concept, we’ll be cutting out retailers by 2050. No more horrid dressing room lighting with that curtain that just won’t quite close properly.

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You can print any clothing you like, in any colour, then when you’ve finished you can reinsert it into the printer to break it down and use it all over again for a new garment. Sounds great!

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Since my wardrobe is 99% grey and black, I’ve got a feeling I’ll save a fair bit of money!

Greyscale all the way!